Nurse-led crisis response team keeps people over 65 out of A&E

More than 1,000 older patients diverted from emergency care in the past year, thanks to a nurse-led service.
hub team

More than 1,000 older patients were diverted from emergency care during the past year, thanks to a nurse-led service on the Isle Wight.

The crisis response team, part of an integrated care hub, has helped improve access to social care for older people and pick up individuals whose dementia had not yet been diagnosed.

A recent evaluation shows that, in the 14 months to June 2016, the team helped keep 1,051 patients over the age of 65 away from the emergency department.

Fundamental change

Hub clinical director Christopher Smith, a paramedic by background, said the crisis response team had fundamentally changed the way older people are cared for.

‘When we used to go to incidents, we didn’t want to take the patient to hospital, but we were at a loss because we didn’t have anywhere else to take them.’

Now, anyone over 65 can be referred to the team for an assessment at home and 72 hours of ‘wrap-around’ care.

Multidisciplinary approach

The team, which includes nurse practitioners, paramedics, assistant practitioners, social workers, an occupational therapist and an Age UK representative, takes referrals from anywhere.

Clinical nurse lead Diane Goring said the team provides a holistic health and social care service. 

‘We would like this model to grow across the southern area,’ she added.

Team lead nurse practitioner Lucy Monk said: ‘Taking people out of their home environment is often not conducive to healing.’